my story of becoming a sister…20+ years later
Change: (verb, changed, chang·ing, noun ) to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone: to change one’s name; to change one’s opinion; to change the course of history
I have never been a big fan of change. People divorcing, moving, new jobs…whenever I face such changes in my life, I immediately imagine how my life will change for the worse. This was the case on a fateful Christmas day in 2009.
Here is the background story. My father had remarried a much younger woman. A woman younger than me in fact (which breaks the cardinal rule of not dating or marrying someone younger than your youngest child- my rule, and apparently, not my father’s). Oh, and they would move to California. This was a tough adjustment for me since I hate change and liked my father living close to me in Baltimore.
When my father first told me he was leaving wife #2, marrying wife #3, and moving to the west coast. I was in shock. While wife #2 was ok, and we had our issues – at least she was older and they lived close by. I disliked wife #3 immediately only because she was taking my daddy from me and moving him far, far away.
As the years went on and I regularly visited my dad and his wonderful life in California, I realized that Lea (wife #3) was not so bad. This was a good change! I had a nice place to visit and a new friend in Lea. We even started making fun of my dad together, which was fun.
My dad seemed happier than he had been in years. I grew fonder and fonder of Lea knowing that I could visit as often as I wanted, and that she took good care of my dad. She did not want kids, so I would never have to worry about anyone else stealing my precious daddy…or so I thought.
Fast forward to Christmas day 2009. My dad was visiting Baltimore for the holidays and Lea was with her family in Virginia. We were looking at pictures my dad had uploaded from old photo albums of me as a baby.
“Look how cute you are” he says.
“I know- so cute!” I say humbly.
“Well, you are so cute in these pictures, that Lea and I decided to have a baby!” he says, beaming.
I immediately stomp upstairs leaving my poor dad with a shocked look on his face. Change had struck again….a baby? At his age? I am an only child! This new baby will steal my thunder! My dad will like it better than me! This baby and new wife will steal my dad forever, I thought. This was the worst news ever, and on Christmas day!
I acted like a spoiled brat for a few months, asking whenever I got the courage if Lea was pregnant, and breathing a sigh of relief when the answer was no. I finally went to California for a visit in May and one morning we made a stop on the way to the store…it was a hospital. Lea went in and came back out a few minutes later. I was trying to read her face, but could not detect a happy or disappointed face.
I saw her show some papers to my dad and they whispered a little and he kissed her…THEY WERE PREGNANT!..and they found out while I was there…was I good luck or something? I continued acting like a spoiled brat the entire trip refusing to inquire. However, something in me was starting to change. I felt that because of my childishness, they were forced to suppress a very special moment together for fear of making me upset. I was acting like an ass and felt bad about it.
Upon my return to Baltimore, I sent Lea an email telling her that it obviously takes me a while to warm up to things, and that I was on board for this whole baby thing. Could she ever forgive me?
I had been so horrible to her since the beginning and I thought for sure she would answer politely and ignore me from then on..what does she need me for? She has her own family now and my daddy will be so enthralled with the baby that the old, grown daughter on the east coast will be all but forgotten.
I was wrong. Lea included me in every step of the way and I was thrilled to be a part of it. When I found out the baby was going to be a boy, I was over the moon to have a baby brother. I began hating being so far away and missing the nursery preparations, baby shower and seeing the baby bump grow each week. My Grinch heart had grown two sizes!
Christian was born on February 5th 2011. He was born one day before my future husband’s birthday and I knew that was a good sign. He was a huge baby weighing in at almost 10lbs! I Skyped with them while they were in the recovery room, and choked back tears at seeing my new baby brother. I wanted to hold him, kiss him and welcome him to the world. I was touched at the sight of my dad holding the baby as well – in a good way.
I met the baby in May at his Christening that took place in Virginia. I am the godmother and have never been more proud. I have to say, he is the cutest, most well behaved baby I have ever seen. I had the baby’s grandmother and great grandmother to compete with, but I managed a few holds and hundreds of kisses. I plan to visit California soon so that I can have Christian all to myself!
The hardest thing now is being so far away and missing all of Christian’s milestones. I would love to be there to see him babble then talk, crawl then walk (and then become the next soccer phenom). Change is a curious thing. I always thought change would negatively impact my life. Now, Christian has taught me how great change can be, and to him, my dad and Lea, I will be forever grateful.
Stephanie was born in France and travels there every year to visit her mom and relatives. She now lives Stateside with her fiancee Bubba, and their two kitties; Winston and Shirley. Makeup is her passion (she worked as a makeup artist for Laura Mercier), she also loves to cook, do artsy stuff and garden.